There's just so much going on in and around the parish, so keep checking back here for the latest articles from various parishioners. Older articles are archived, and can be found here.

Strawberry Tea – Sunday, 6th August 2017.

      Luckily, it was a pleasantly warm afternoon, so everyone was able to enjoy a bowl or two of delicious strawberries and cream whilst sitting out in the Parish garden. There was a constant buzz of conversation rising from the groups of parishioners gathered around each table. We were also very pleased when Fr. Jean-Patrice and Fr. Jose came along to join us.

      Many thanks to Kath Brown for her help on the day and for providing some very pleasant background music.

       Thanks to the generosity of all those who joined us on the day, a total of £110 was raised for Parish funds.

 MBH.

                                                 Flame 3 (CYMFed) 2017 
 On Saturday 11th March, 9 young people from the Holy Ghost Parish and 5 Catechists went to Wembley Arena for the National Catholic Youth Congress. It was the third event of its kind since 2013. We met Fr. Jean Patrice there and then joined Bishop Declan and others from the Clifton Diocese. Altogether we numbered about 200. The Arena soon filled up with 10,000 young people from all over England and Wales, some of whom had set off at 4.00am! There were contingents from every diocese. The main theme of the day was ‘10,000 Reasons to Hope’. Cardinal Vincent Nichols read a message from Pope Francis. ‘Don’t ever lose hope! The Lord has a great dream which, with your help, he wants to come true’. Cardinal Bo from Myanmar (Burma) talked to us about our responsibility to care for all of God’s creation. There was a boat by the stage that had rescued refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean. Two young people had been to the Lebanon and talked about the extreme hardships they had witnessed. David Wells talked with humour and profound insight about reasons to care and hope. The day was interspersed with other influential guest speakers and music led by Matt Redman and band. Towards the end, there was Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Imagine, Jesus being present with us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and not a murmur from 10,000 people in prayer! It was an amazing experience.

Pictures and text by Margie Want.



                                                 Sion Celebration – Saturday, 24 September 2016.
There must have been over 90 of us gathered in the Marian Hall, transformed into an elegant party venue with decorated tables and swagging on the chairs by Bing, of our Filipino community . This was only the second time that members of every community in our Parish – Indian Filipino, Polish, Slovakian, English and Irish - had come together at a Parish event. Each one was represented in the entertainment that followed the start of the buffet, when they sang, danced or played music for us, watched by their family and friends. After the final act, parishioners returned their attention to the buffet table and there was again a buzz of conversation before they began to leave around 10.30pm.

 A huge THANK YOU to everyone who contributed in any way towards the event to making it such a happy occasion to conclude the Parish Mission.

In case you missed it, the programme  of entertainment was as follows:-

1. Indian community – a dance by Sarthwana and Amy.

2. Filipino community – a modern dance by six dancers and  a song duet performed by Reyma & Corpuz.

3. Slovak community -   songs and music performed on violin and keyboard by Sonia & Susannah

4.  English/Irish community - A traditional Irish dance performed by three dancers – Geraldine, Siobhan and Aylish and one other Irish dance by Aylish,

5.  The Kazic Polish Duo performing Folk Songs accompanied by Guitar.

6.  Carolyn, Clare, Ray and Danny singing – ‘Bread & Fishes’ and

‘Lead Me, Guide Me’ and concluding with Ray playing   on the keyboard.

MBH.

Photos by Fr Jean-Patrice Coulon.       To see more Photos go to Holy Ghost Facebook.
 
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                                       GLASTONBURY PILGRIMAGE WALK  JULY 2016

Congratulations to our three parishioners who walked to the Glastonbury Pilgrimage last Sunday. There was a Rosary Procession through the town, followed by the Mass celebrated by Bishop Declan in the Abbey Ruins. Good to see former Headteacher of our Primary School and Glastonbury parishioner Maisie Foster as one of the Readers. Do consider supporting our annual diocesan pilgrimage. It gathers our diocese together in a place where Our Lord is worshipped under the protective mantle of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy.

Fr Jean-Patrice Coulon.

Strawberries & CreamTea

12th June 2016 

Since the sun failed to make an appearance last Sunday and instead the heavens opened to the most torrential of downpours, clearly, we could not enjoy our strawberry tea on the Parish Lawn this year. So we resorted to Plan B - opening up the Marian Hall instead. However, this did not seem to dampen the spirits of those who had joined us, as you might gather from a couple of the groups in the photo opposite; next year perhaps we can put in a sound track!

Many thanks to John Marsden, who supplied several punnets of the most delicious strawberries, also to Kath Brown for providing packs of mouth-watering scones, plus some great tracks of background music. My thanks also to Kath and to Clare Allen for their unstinting help on the day.

We have been able to donate £50 to the Sion Mission appeal.

Madeleine Harvey. 

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Clare Allen’s Sponsored Swim – Friday, 18th March.

 

Sitting in the public viewing gallery overlooking the Nuffield swimming pool to watch Clare’s marathon effort to cover an amazing 160 lengths in just 1 hour, 30 minutes proved to be a mesmerising experience. She moved through the water with such grace and ease that it looked completely effortless. On the opposite side of the pool a friend, Kath Brown, kept a tally of each length she completed.

For several weeks Clare had been building up the number of lengths she could cover until she was close to the magic number of 160. Her purpose was to help with funding for the Parish Mission in September. So far she has succeeded in raising over £800, but that’s only a provisional figure as the final total will be at least £1,000 – up-date to follow. In the meantime, many congratulations to Clare.

MBH                                                                                  Pics by Ernie J.

Christmas Carol Concert - 5th Dec 2015

A huge thanks to the pupils of Leweston Catholic Secondary School for girls, who gave a concert for us in the Church on Sat 5th Dec 2015. Similarly big thanks to the Staff and Parishioners that made the event possible and so enjoyable on the day. Notably was the refreshments and mince pies in the Marian Hall before and afterwards.

A Grand Total of £952.10 was raised, which will be split between Parish Funds and the Jona Joyti School for Girls in Napal, which is Leweston's chosen charity.

The Church was packed on the day and with angelic singing and heavenly music we were treated to a choral feast. A great contribution to our Advent preparation. Se the pictures below, which recorded the event. 


 

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60s/70s Disco - Saturday, 10th October 2015.

Kath Brown writes:


A BIG thank you to everyone who helped and supported our Parish Dance. Although not great in numbers, great fun was had by all! Everyone let their hair down, including a few wigs, and danced the night away.

I'm delighted to say that we have been able to send to Fr. Raj £230 towards the building of his church in Koppal, Southern India.     


Here's a sample of the many photos that were taken, which clearly show that everyone was having a good time.  Many thanks to Clare Allen & John Marsden for the photographs.

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Strawberries and Cream Tea – Sunday, 2nd August 2015.

 

It was all so relaxing, sitting in the Parish Garden under cloudless blue skies and enjoying the warm sunshine whilst some music for easy listening was being played in the background.

 

I suppose there must have been between 26 and 30 of us there, including Fr. Jean-Patrice and Fathers Phillip and Raji, whom we were very happy to see again.

  

Strawberries and cream were the ideal fare for a hot summer’s day, but somehow most of us also managed to find room for a slice of at least one or two of the delicious cakes arrayed before us. There was a constant hum of conversation, so it was quite late in the afternoon before parishioners began to leave the Parish Garden.

 

Many thanks to Kath Brown for organizing and setting up the music and, together with Mary McLoughlin and Clare Allen, for providing those mouth-watering cakes & biscuits.


MBH 

 

  Glastonbury Pilgrimage Walk – 12th July 2015

 The walkers, left to right  John, Clare, Ernie, Marik, Mike, Madeleine.


Everyone was in high spirits, despite the somewhat grey Sunday morning, when we six walkers, our support driver, Terry Harvey, and Fr. Jean-Patrice were gathered together at 7.00am in the Marian Hall car park for a prompt start of the Walk.  Once the car was loaded with containers of water, bottles of fruit squash, cakes, biscuits and a tin of sweets, to keep us all going, Father very kindly gave us a blessing before we set out on our 19-mile route to Glastonbury Abbey.

 

We had left Yeovil behind when we reached Stone Lane, and for the rest of the route the only other towns through which we passed were Ilchester and Glastonbury. For the most part, we were walking along country roads and passing through some very old and picturesque villages, such as Ashington, with its duck pond, where we spotted a duck fast asleep on the grassy bank . Then, just before we reached Limington, our driver had a surprise when a blue car appeared and drew up alongside him before leaning his head out of the window for a chat; it was, none other than Fr. J-P.  A couple of minutes later, we had all caught them up, when Father checked with us that we were all still in good shape, which was a kind thought.

A few spots of light rain began to fall as we continued on our way towards Ilchester, our first stop, when we had walked about six miles. However, by the time we arrived, there was a steady downpour, so we had to resort to eating our breakfast whilst sitting in a nearby bus shelter. 

 

We had a similar experience before we reached the village of Charlton Mackrell, our traditional ice-cream stop, as rain had once again begun to lightly fall. So, on this occasion, there had been just one request for an ice cream, another for an orange iced lolly, whilst the rest of us had asked for coffee or hot chocolate. However, we were still able to sit on the long wall of the War Memorial, our traditional stopping place, under the shelter of the trees behind, and enjoy our break.


 Refreshed, we pressed on through the lovely, 1,000 year-old village of Butleigh, passing the16th century pub, The Rose and Portcullis.’ We then turned off the main road and dropped down to South Moor, with the Tor in the background. Anyone who has ever taken part in the Walk will tell you how tantalising it is to have the Tor always in view for that last three miles before finally arriving in Glastonbury!

When we arrived at the grounds of the Abbey and had made our way to our traditional picnic spot, it was good to meet up with Kath Brown, also Henry and Luisiella Macdonald, who had driven over to take part in the Pilgrimage. We were just in time to see the return of the procession of witness to the Abbey grounds, which had wound its way through the town. Some very beautiful hymns were then sung, with everyone joining in, followed by the Rosary and the Mass itself, all movingly led by the Emeritus Bishop of Portsmouth diocese, Crispian Hollis, who stood out in the open despite the rain that had, once again, begun to fall …

 

If you have never joined the Glastonbury Pilgrimage, I would definitely recommend it as a life and faith affirming experience and, of course, you don’t have to walk there!

Text by Madeleine Harvey.  Photos by Clare Allen & John Marsden.   

         

Parish Renewal Day  27 September 2014.


At the 10 o’clock Mass that morning, it was encouraging to hear Deacon Stephen Morgan, our Leader for the Day, in his address to parishioners, explain how evangelisation in the parish needs to start within each one of us. ‘The change that is needed, the change that says ‘yes’ and does yes in response to God’s invitation begins in each of our hearts and cannot come to fulfilment without that loving, healing, forgiving embrace of the Lord in the Sacrament of Confession as a necessary prelude to a fruitful union with him in Holy Communion.’ 


No less than 48 parishioners later trooped into the Marian Hall, to find the ceiling festooned with balloons kindly left by our Indian community, giving it a festive appearance. Trestle tables had also been laid out with a tempting array cakes and desserts, plus salads, cold meats and cheeses. We were all invited to sit ourselves down in groups of six - composed of members of the PPC, Finance Committee and other parishioners - at one of several circular tables placed around the hall and facing the windows that looked out on a parish garden bathed in sunshine. 


Deacon Stephen sat at a table opposite to us, just a few feet away. Following  a warm welcome by Fr. Jean-Patrice, he rose to his feet, introducing himself with some details of his personal life. Yes. He was a Deacon for the diocese of Portsmouth, and was also married, with three children, aged 18, 20 and 21. From the outset, his lively manner and quick sense of humour engaged everyone in the hall.


Moving on to the purpose of the Day, Stephen explained that ‘Yeovil needs to become a place of evangelisation, new in its ardour, methods and expression, aimed at bringing ourselves into a personal, passionate relationship with Jesus Christ in his body, the Church.’  To this end, the morning was spent in discussion of five ‘Essential Ingredients of the New Evangelisation’:  ‘Personal conviction, Community, The Word of God and the teaching of the Church,  Liturgy and the sacraments,  Courage and creativity.’ Having discovered exactly what was meant by evangelisation; having the light of love and trust in God and witnessing by our words and actions in response to others, we took a one-hour break for lunch. Some appetising aromas invaded the hall as members of the Indian and Phillipino communities served hot meals to many of our parishioners.


Following lunch, we took a first step in starting the process of this New Evangelisation by asking ourselves as parishioners  …   


‘What it is to be a Catholic - in the family, workplace, and community.’ 

Each table would be given ten minutes for discussion and five for feedback.  



Taking the family as our starting point, Stephen asked for views and comments from people on each of the tables in turn. Most of us reported that we always said night time prayers with the children, but fewer extended this to meal-times, perhaps because food is now so plentiful and for most of us, affordable. However, since most children are aware that other children of poor families living in parts of Asia and Africa, often go hungry, as would some in our own parish of Yeovil were it not for the food banks, many of us include a bed-time, if not a meal-time prayer for them, too. 


Stephen also mentioned that at times when children are unhappy about something, or have been quarrelling, a good way of bringing them back together is to say with them a simple prayer for peace. ‘Has anyone tried this?’ he wanted to know. Some hands went up, and everyone agreed that it was a good idea. There is probably a lot of truth in the saying that ‘the family that prays together, stays together.’ 


An interesting point was made that when we read stories about the life of Jesus to our children, they are all too often about the start of his ministry, and the many miracles he performed. However, they also need to learn about his life as a child, as this will be more relevant to them. Sending your children to Children’s Liturgy is also important to their understanding of the life of Jesus and how they can follow him.


It was generally agreed that in the workplace, Catholics can sometimes be presented with working practices which run counter to our Faith and give rise to a crisis of conscience. However, the consensus was that it is sometimes possible to evangelise through our interactions with and response to others, as we had discussed earlier. Fr. Stephen Wang in ‘The New Evangelisation,’ quoting from the Assembly of 1974, wrote: ‘Every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelisation of culture, or cultures by an encounter with the Gospel … This can only happen if the Gospel is proclaimed by witness of one or more Christians in terms of their love and care for one another.’ 


But why a new evangelisation, you might ask? A number of reasons were suggested: the spread of Atheism, a lax attitude towards morality, and the modern ‘Me’ culture, none of which are conducive towards an appreciation of the Gospel message.  


Finally, we talked over what might be achieved in terms of evangelisation in the community. Deacon Stephen reminded us of the words of Bishop Declan, that we are ‘Called to be a people of Hope.’  So we started to think about what could be done to deepen the knowledge of the Word of God in our Church within the faithful. A wide range of suggestions were given, including a  Parish Retreat to either Lee Abbey or Buckfast Abbey, the production of a booklet on Evangelisation, a Children’s Mass with a Harvest Festival, and more involvement of children during Mass, and, in December, an Open Carols Day, and International Evenings held during the year. Thanks were expressed to Fr. Jean-Patrice for coming into St. Gildas School to work with the children, and it was suggested that the Parish Mass could sometimes be amalgamated with the School Mass, which would draw the school and parish communities closer together.


We have the first bricks in place on which to build the new evangelisation of our parish, and are looking forward to working towards the realisation of our ideas.


Sarah Jennison.



Flame 2- 7th March 2015.

Throughout the day these speakers gave us bursts of input, interspersed with world class music and drama, in an atmosphere full of joy. Music was provided by double Grammy award winning Matt Redman and his band.

The day ended with a time of Adoration led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Bishops from each diocese or their representatives were in attendance. Bishop Declan sat with us and also travelled back with us. We were all asked to recall one message from the day’s inspirational themes ~ just one message, the most significant to us.

How can we then respond to it and change our lives for the better? When we asked our young people what they thought of the event the most popular reply was “AMAZING!”

Margaret Want.

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Young Parishioners Springtime Concert at St.Michaels, South Petherton.

There must have been about 70 parishioners from both our Churches gathered together last Friday evening, 17th April, when seven young people of St Michael's presented and performed a delightful programme of music, songs, and hymns.   There were also instrumental pieces on the guitar, violin, recorder and piano.  The audience were invited to join in with the singing of hymns: 'How Great Thou Art,' 'Bind Us together, Lord, the final item being 'Walk in the Light of the Lord.' The evening was rounded off very pleasantly with a buffet accompanied by glasses of wine or coffee.

Festival of Carols -16th Dec 2014.

This was the inaugural "Festival of Carols" within the parish and follows on, in part, from our New Evangelisation drive. This is challenging us to ensure our Parish life is clearly alive and vibrant, not just for ourselves but also within the community that we live. The aim of the Festival was not just a Catholic Service, but a Christian Service open to all.

Mary Lister rallied the troops and masterminded the whole event. It was a mixture of traditional carols sung in unison, choir ensembles and solos, readings and a performance by the children from St Gildas' School. The Christmas Truce, read by David Adams and Clare Allen, was a very fitting tribute to the First World War. The organ music, which accompanied everyone, was performed by David Bruce-Payne, with a couple of solo performances as well. When the children sang, the piano music was played by Ray D'Inverno and the bodhran by Kath Brown.

It is not possible to thank everyone for their contributions, but collectively we pooled our various talents together and made it an event worthy to prepare everyone in this Advent Season for the coming of the Lord.

The following photos give a flavour of the event. We look forwards to next year's event and will endeavour to attract more visitors from other Christian Churches and faiths in the Yeovil area.

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PILGRIMAGE WALK TO GLASTONBURY – SUNDAY, 13th JULY 2014.


The weather could not have been more ideal for the nine walkers, including two children, Henry and Louis Kerswell, who had gathered in the Parish car park at 7.00am for prayers and a blessing from Fr. Jean-Patrice before setting out.  After all the hot weather we’ve been having in recent days, we all welcomed the refreshing breeze and were relieved that the sun came out only in bursts during our 18-mile walk to Glastonbury. 

Fortunately, we were being accompanied by two car drivers, Pat Russell, with Fran, also Simon, husband of Ros Kerswell, so if feet became too sore or legs too weary we could always hop in for a ride. However, mind over body, we resisted the temptation, apart from one short stretch just out of Ilchester, when traffic was flying by thick and fast!

We didn’t have too much excuse for flagging along the way, as the Russells stopped at frequent intervals to offer water or fruit squash, plus Fran’s mouth- watering cakes and chocolate tiffin to help us to maximise our energy. They had also taken orders for ice creams, so when we came to our second official stop at Charlton Mackrell , having had breakfast at Ilchester, they returned with a bag-full, insisting that this was their treat. Sitting on a wall, swinging our legs, we knew that we were being thoroughly spoilt! It was also good to know that we were roughly half way to Glastonbury.

There was just one more stop ahead of us at Butleigh before we pressed on to Glastonbury, strung out along the road, mainly walking in pairs. Whilst it’s always encouraging for walkers to glimpse the ruined tower of the church that once stood on Glastonbury Tor, I reminded Ros, who was walking with me and determined to finish the course, that we did have about another four miles to go.

Arriving at the Abbey grounds, we spotted the group of 16 other parishioners who had come on a minibus, kindly driven by Sean Lewis.  We were pleased to see that they had made for our traditional ‘pitch’ under a clump of trees on rising ground not far from where the visiting priests, including our own Fr. Jean-Patrice, were seated, and went over to join them, just in time to see the Rosary procession leaving the grounds of the Abbey to parade through the streets of Glastonbury.  Before the Mass began at 3.30pm, a couple of us carried our Parish banner up to the back of the podium where the priests would take their seats, and propped it up against one of the pillars alongside the others. 

As I mentioned, there was quite a strong breeze blowing and, unfortunately, as  Bishop Declan Lang was walking away from the altar and about to give his homily on the grassy mound, his crimson cap was blown off before he could catch it, but a man sitting nearby quickly picked it up and handed it to him. Later, before the Blessing, it happened again.  ‘I’d better put my hat on firmly now,’ remarked our unflappable Bishop.   

The theme of the Mass, ‘Mary, Queen of Evangelisation,’ was based on the great faith and love of Mary, mother of Jesus, in supporting her son and in urging the people of Jersualem to ‘listen to him,’ and this was the focus of the Bishop’s sermon. 

The strong association of ‘St. Mary’ with Glastonbury apparently began in early mediaeval times when, on the same site as the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, a wooden church once stood that had been dedicated to Our Lady. 

 Although the ruined tower is all that remains of the church built on top of the Tor, having been largely demolished during the Reformation, pilgrims and visitors alike usually take the opportunity to walk or run up the hill, either to reflect, or simply to admire the view from the top. Sadly, as far as our walking group was concerned, whilst the spirit may have been willing, the flesh was a trifle weak after our l8-mile walk. 

Perhaps next time …

Finally, a big THANK YOU to Clare Allen who organized and led the Pilgrimage, for making it such a memorable day for all of us. 

Madeleine Harvey.

Photos kindly supplied by John Marsden.

Lourdes

My Heaven on Earth

by Kath Brown

 

My love for Lourdes began on my first pilgrimage in October 1999.  Martin and I travelled by coach from Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, with a wonderful friendly bunch from the North East, including my parents and other family members.  It was the year of my 40th birthday; they say ‘life begins at 40’, and my life and relationship with Mary our Blessed Mother certainly did! 

Lourdes had such a profound and life-changing effect on me that I couldn’t possibly find the words to adequately describe it, except to say it was, and still is, my heaven on earth.   So began many wonderful pilgrimages to Lourdes, and every time I return to the Blessed Grotto I experience that warm ‘coming home’ glow in my heart.

It was on one of these pilgrimages that I started to feel: ‘Yes, this is wonderful, but wouldn’t it be great to be here with fellow parishioners from my own church?’  That little voice remained in my head until I returned to Lourdes, once again with friends from the North East.  The voice became louder and the feelings so strong that it was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore!  As much as I thought I couldn’t possibly organise something like that – my confidence was extremely low – still that voice persisted and nagged until I felt I was being shouted at!  

So I finally gave in, approached our newly arrived priest, Fr Andrew, and said: ‘How do you fancy a trip to Lourdes?’  In October 2005 our first pilgrimage took place and the rest, as they say, is history.  Three wonderful pilgrimages later, and with the great help of God and of our Blessed Mother, our 4th Parish Pilgrimage will take place this October.

For those who haven’t been with us and are wondering: ‘Why travel by coach?’ I can promise you that the group bonds so well travelling by coach.  We do try and have fun on our journey:  quizzes, bingo, DVDs and of course cups of tea/coffee (yes, there is a toilet!) with regular stops to stretch your legs.  We also have an overnight stop in the Paris region to break the journey and have a good night’s sleep.

In Lourdes we stay at the Hotel Alba, which is a lovely comfortable hotel with full-board food and friendly staff.  I arrange Mass in various places during our stay; there are so many places to visit and experience, too many to mention them all: wonderful basilicas and chapels, the Baths, the incredible larger than life Upper Stations cast in bronze and iron, the torchlight Marian procession, and most importantly the Grotto itself (a very moving experience at night).  There is also free time for personal exploring and devotion.   Three years ago we had a fantastic day trip to Gavarnie, up in the mountains with spectacular scenery; we all loved it and I’m sure we will visit there again.

On leaving Lourdes we travel to Nevers for an overnight stay to visit the convent at St Gildard where St Bernadette became a nun and spent her life from the age of 22 years to when she died aged 35 years.  We celebrate Mass in the chapel alongside the incorrupt body of St Bernadette, a wonderful, moving end to our pilgrimage.

I firmly believe that everyone who visits Lourdes has been invited by our Blessed Lady herself.  Is Our Lady calling you

If anyone wants to go to Lourdes or wants further information, please contact Kath Brown on the Parish Centre telephone (01935 433314) or e-mail (parishcentreyeovil@gmail.com).

Lourdes

Memorial Concert

– Fr. Alan Blackford, RIP.

Saturday, 14th June 2014.

 

It was a warm summer’s evening when a group of talented musicians and singers from the parish, gave a spellbinding performance of classical and religious music that Fr. Blackford would himself have enjoyed. Their audience of parishioners may have been small, but there was a very happy and relaxed atmosphere throughout the concert, which was conducted by Mary Lister.

The concert opened with Ray D’Inverno at the piano, playing the romantic song, Besame Mucho,’ by Velasquez, which seems to lose something in translation as: ‘Kiss me a lot, as I’m afraid of losing you afterwards.’ Then, as a lively contrast, he followed up with Billy Taylor’s, ‘I wish I knew how to be free’ – part of an album by this popular American jazz pianist.

Margaret Boucherie, who has a very pure soprano voice, sang a number of religious works, and gave a moving performance of Lorenc’s ‘Ave Maria,’ also Handel’s, ‘O that I on wings could rise.’ 

The second pianist for the evening was Peter MacDonald who, at short notice, took over from Gordon Hawthornthwaite, as he had been taken ill. Peter gave a very impressive performance, despite the limited time in which he had to practice four pieces of music that included two Bach Preludes and Gounod’s arrangement of Ave Maria.  Phil Macdonald, his brother, followed with a sensitive treatment of Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique and two very beautiful Nocturnes - one by John Field and the other Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb major.

Other highlights of the evening came towards the end of the concert, as the singing group performed Akers, ‘Lead us, guide us.’ Originally an African chant, it was apparently popular with both soldiers and civilians during the First World War. The combined choirs then sang ‘Ave Verum,’ a hymn to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

Finally, everyone in the Hall joined in with the singers and musicians in a rousing rendition of ‘Jerusalem.’

After the long round of applause, Fr. Jean-Patrice then paid tribute to all who had taken part in the Concert, including the six members of the MacDonald family, thanking them for an excellent evening’s entertainment.

Drinks and refreshments were then brought round to each table as audience and performers mingled and chatted for at least another hour …

Fr. Blackford would certainly have relished the entire evening.

 

Madeleine Harvey. 

The singing group at the Blackford concert

Are you a first time visitor?

If so, perhaps you would be interested in viewing some older articles which we have stored on our archive page. These range from reports on local parish events, to reflections for different times of year to historical musings.

Why not take a look and get a feel for all that happens in the parish community. or, take a look at our Liturgy page and sample some of the music (including "Lead me, Guide Me" mentioned above) you might encounter at the 10am by listening to the excellent recordings of our Singing Group.